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Pugging Reduced by 90% at Rex Hine’s Diary Farm

Motumaoho, Waikato

Rex and Annette Hines’ dairy farm in Motumauoho, has had Numat rubber down for near on nine years. Matthew Murdock, who has been managing the farm’s herd for the past two years, says its one of the best management tools he has for looking after the wellbeing of the cows and the pasture.

The rubber was installed on the farm’s main yard in response to pasture management issues during wet weather. With rubber on the yard, Matthew can stand cows off for long periods of time, saving his paddocks from damage.

“It’s perfect. You can have them on for days on end. It reduces pugging ten-fold. It’s all about looking after the pasture really – if you don’t smash it up, you grow a lot more,”

Another issue the matting has alleviated is lameness caused by having cows on concrete. Since installing Numat, the number of lame cows on the farm has plummeted. “The cows just walk off like spring chickens, you wouldn’t even know they’d been stood off, there’s no tenderness at all.”

Matthew says he’s tried other means of standing off cows, such as saw dust pads and wintering pads, but these get mucky and require a lot of maintenance. With the Numat rubber matting, maintenance is minimal. “Every day you can just hose this down and start fresh again. Pretty simple, just the same as washing your yard – and all your effluent is contained,” says Matthew.

Ultimately, the decision to install rubber has meant the cows are far more comfortable and healthier. “You’re not bringing in little stones onto the yard and the last cow that comes in, she isn’t stuck on concrete for two hours. I’m pretty sure they appreciate it.”

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